Do You Believe In Magic?
If you don’t believe in magic, will you ever find it?
Last week I was confronted by a neighborhood incident, where a sweet little boy was telling the other smaller children that “Santa wasn’t real”, that “there was no Easter Bunny” and that the “Tooth Fairy didn’t exist”! First, I was appalled. How could he, at the age of 10, ruin the childhood Christmas Magic for all these children? My children are only 4 and 7 — the magic is just beginning! They are so excited to see Santa and looking forward to Christmas, they are even running to see where the elves are every night. They’ve made a list, written letters to Santa Claus, and daydreamed about how good they’ve been all year. These times bring so much joy, not only to them but to us as parents as well. We are all alive with imagination and creativity. We are using our minds to create a magical world of the North Pole, elves playing and leaving notes around the house and occasionally getting into mischief, but more importantly we are putting a focus on family time.
This is the time of the year we are watching Christmas movies and singing Christmas songs.
It is tradition, it is our favorite time of the year as a family to bake cookies and watch Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman. It’s a time for not only giving gifts, but giving our time to write letters to children who are less fortunate, filling shoe boxes to ship off to another part of the world, making treats to give to neighbors and teachers and friends. It is a time of reflection, whether it be a religious holiday and you believe it is the time of the birth of Christ, or you have other beliefs, Christmas is what you make of it.
It can be rushed and hurried and stressful, if that’s the story you keep telling. After all you are using your imagination to create the havoc. Or you can slow down, make a list of who you want to pick up something small for and order online in one day and spend your weekends hanging lights with your family, making cocoa and visiting friends.
Christmas has never been about gifts with my extended family, but about FAMILY.
We don’t exchange gifts, but we always have Christmas eve dinner together. Many years it has been Chinese or Thai food at a local restaurant! It became tradition one year when we were children that carried each year. As kids we thought it was funny to do it again the next year and the next. But isn’t that how traditions start anyway?
The tradition of Santa Claus:
Saint Nicholas, whose name was changed over the years to Santa Claus, was a real person, a monk named St. Nicholas who was born sometime around 280 A.D. in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey. Much admired for his piety and kindness, St. Nicholas became the subject of many legends. Many stories have been told of his generosity for which he did anonymously because he didn’t want to be praised. He gave for the joy of giving. The stories of Saint Nicholas came to America through the Dutch settlers in the state of New York. He has definitely changed through the years.
Originally, he was dressed in his traditional Bishop’s robes. It wasn’t until the 20th century that he began to be dressed in the red and white outfit in which he appears to us now in the persons of his many “helpers.” In fact, in 1874, the American cartoonist Thomas Nast drew him in a brown suit with brown fur trim.
‘Twas the night before Christmas:
In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore, an Episcopal minister, wrote a long Christmas poem for his three daughters entitled “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas.” Moore’s poem, which he was initially hesitant to publish due to the frivolous nature of its subject, is largely responsible for our modern image of Santa Claus as a “right jolly old elf” with a portly figure and the supernatural ability to ascend a chimney with a mere blink of an eye! Although some of Moore’s imagery was probably borrowed from other sources, his poem helped popularize the now-familiar image of a Santa Claus who flew from house to house on Christmas Eve – in “a miniature sleigh” led by eight flying reindeer – leaving presents for deserving children.
How could we save the Magic of Christmas?
Another parent and I were discussing our intervention of the neighborhood Christmas demise. I had just convinced my children last year of the Great Pumpkin who came to take all their candy and leave a toy at the front door! I couldn’t have the mayhem in our neighborhood. We decided to let his mom know what was happening so she could talk to him, and I immediately wanted to know if my kids were contaminated! As my son Tristan was going to bed that night, I asked him if he’d heard of what was said in the neighborhood? Could he believe that? If the other kids didn’t believe, they wouldn’t get anything on Christmas morning! He sleepily said: “No mom, I can’t believe that!”
Whew – Christmas wasn’t ruined yet! I couldn’t let the magic go away. Childhood is about magic and mystery and creativity. My daughter is constantly talking to her babies, feeding them, singing to them. She knows they aren’t real but that doesn’t take away from the joy of creativity and the magic of childhood. We even put little thimbles of honey out for the fairies in spring! As adults we lose our ability to use our imagination. I believe that is why so many people struggle with the law of attraction. They can’t imagine a better life or a better circumstance other than what they are living. It is sad in a way but can always be re-gained.
As soon as the neighborhood non-believer knocked on our front door asking to play my, husband said, “We believe in Santa!”. He sheepishly replied, “I do too!” I guess his mom had talked to him. I’m pretty sure someone at school had ruined his day by convincing him that all the magic was gone. But it is never gone. Even as an adult, I am excited at Disney when Mickey and Minnie coming over for a picture. I know they aren’t real, but that’s not the point. It’s about the smile.
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
– Roald Dahl
Happy Holidays and loads of magic to you and your family from our family that believes,